Thursday, May 17, 2012

They really are Fairytale Toadstools

In my last post I had a photo of the fairytale toadstools that grow under the silver birch tree in my garden. I wandered around the internet and found quite a bit about it, most of it isn't that surprising. It is actually a very diverse little fungus when you start to read about it.
Silver Birch trees have a symbiotic relationship with the fly agaric fungus (Amanita muscaria) which produces its bright red toadstools in Autumn. The fungus helps soil nutrients to be absorbed by the tree's roots and it takes sugars from the tree in return. 

It is actually the Toadstool commonly depicted in children's books. It is an hallucinogenic and is used in religious rituals and recreational pursuits.I'm a bit worried about the fairies in the garden now, maybe all that dancing around the Daffodils has more to do with the Toadstools they live under rather than just the joy of living? In some parts of Europe it is used for insect control. It has medicinal properties and is also poisonous. This is just a very brief description of the little red toadstool. For a more detailed description go to http://www.kew.org/plants-fungi/Amanita-muscaria.htm





3 comments:

Pam said...

That was very interesting Jackie. Thank you! I think we saw silver Birch while in NZ but there weren't any of those sweet little things in the area that we noticed. Shame, and it was Autumn at the time.
Question: what is that wire thing in the background of the pic?! Looks like a trap. :) ♥

Enchanted Moments said...

If we had these popping up in the garden the girls would go nuts...they are just so 'fairy' like.....we have a spot by the fence that the toadstools grow, they are lovely, but they are brown coloured with markings on the top....there is one there now, I must remember to let the girls know...we had two silver birch trees in our front yard when we built the house, but one got sick and died and apparently they fret? And the other one died not long after......they do best in groups...do you have a grove of them Jackie? or just a couple together?

Chris Fenwick said...

Busy little toad stools all the things they can do, and you could be right those Fairy's may just be doing more than dancing around the daffodils could be more like a bungle in the jungle !! ha ha
xox